Magnus Lindgren & John Beasley – Butterfly Effect (ENG review)

Act music – Street Date March 20th 2024
Magnus Lindgren & John Beasley - L’effet Papillon

A beautiful collaboration between Swedish composer and multi-instrumentalist Magnus Lindgren and pianist/composer John Beasley, but how can we understand the title of this album? According to the “Butterfly Effect,” tiny disturbances at one point on the Earth’s surface, even the flap of a butterfly’s wings, can trigger enormous changes in distant places. For saxophonist/flutist/clarinetist Magnus Lindgren and pianist John Beasley, the starting point here is the smallest possible format of musical interaction, the duo. And it’s a starting point with enchanting consequences.
In fact, once again, one can feel the classical music culture of both musicians, who offer a contemporary work at the border of jazz. Although Magnus Lindgren is an excellent multi-instrumentalist, here it’s with the flute that he works wonders, offering dialogues with Beasley’s piano that are simply breathtaking. The two musicians present eleven original compositions here – plus an arrangement of the Beatles’ classic “Come Together” – creating microcosmic musical worlds for Lindgren and Beasley to explore together. The keen musical minds and considerable combined experience of Lindgren and Beasley are well known: both musicians are respected and admired worldwide as arrangers in jazz and popular music. Their first album together, “Bird Lives,” was decorated with three GRAMMY nominations and a win. Here, they have elevated their art, creating what could be called real-time arrangements.
We can also expect the Grammys to shower upon the heads of both musicians once again, as this album is a true wonder. However, what Lindgren and Beasley offer here is very different from anything they have proposed in the past; here, they go much further, together pushing all known boundaries to venture into the unknown. “Butterfly Effect” brings together these influences to create a particularly refined distillate. What this recording abundantly offers – and what the listener will inevitably feel as each of these performances takes flight – is the spontaneity and chemistry of their interaction.
This album certainly won’t appeal to everyone, because once again, to appreciate such a work, one must have a broad culture oneself and be capable of appreciating the beauty of a work for what it is. Just as with “Bird Lives,” the appeal of “Butterfly Effect” lies in the fact that the two protagonists have very different musical backgrounds. Magnus Lindgren hails from Sweden and draws from a deep well of European classical music, as well as the freedom of jazz and the emotionality of soul and pop. John Beasley is American and combines a powerful imagination that shines through in his own recordings influenced by his work experience with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Steely Dan, Dianne Reeves, his film and television soundtracks, as well as an impressive catalog of arrangements and compositions for big band.
A remarkable album that I deem more than indispensable – just a little more patience, March 29 isn’t so far away…

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, March 17th 2024


To buy this CD

Magnus Lindgren’s website

John Beasley’swebsite